With over 300 million downloads, Adblock Plus is the world’s most popular ad blocking extension . The company behind it, Eyeo GMBH, has just released a standalone browser for Android that fully integrates its ad-blocking features.
The new Adblock Bowser is based on the popular open source Firefox browser from Mozilla, and replaces the Adblock Plus browser extension on Google Play (the extension can still be added to Firefox for Android within the browser by going to Menu -> Tools-> Add-ons -> Browse all Firefox Add-ons and searching for Adblock Plus.
Other than tighter integration with Firefox, the main advantage of using the browser for existing users of Firefox + Adblock Plus is that unlike the extension, the new browser blocks ads over secure HTTPS, not just HTTP.
The Adblock Browser basically looks and feels identical to Firefox except for including the settings outlined below. However, a potential problem may be the rate at which Eyeo keeps it up to date with the latest Firefox releases. This has proven to be the downfall of other Firefox forks, as new Firefox releases often include important security updates. Only time will tell is Eyeo can keep on top of this.
The app explains its key features when first run
The browser is basically identical to Firefox for Android, except that additional options are available through the menu. The simplest is to just toggle ads on and off for the current website
Adblock Plus works using filter lists. More lists can be added, but unlike with the browser extension, the only list available is Easylist, plus various EasyList language versions. This is a bit of a shame, because while EasyList is good, we prefer to add additional filters (such as the Fanboy list)
Adblock Plus does not block all ads by default. For details of how its ‘Acceptable ads’ policy works, please see here. It basically involves whitelisting ads that conform to a strict set of criteria. If you do not like this ‘feature’, however, it can be easily turned off
The Adblock browser is currently in open beta, so some details may change before its official launch. If you would like to give it whirl, then you must join the Adblock Browser for Android Beta Google+ community, after which you can download the app from the Play Store. Please note that for this to work you will need to join the Google+ community using the same username that you use to download the beta.